A WARRANT has been issued for the arrest of a Bideford man who hit his partner on the arm while the pair were “play fighting” and stole money from a coin-operated TV.
Shane Gifford, 36, pleaded guilty to assault and theft at North Devon Magistrates’ Court earlier this month, but did not turn up to the court on Friday, when he was due to be sentenced for the offences.
Presiding magistrate Jane Kivlin issued a warrant for his immediate arrest.
When he first appeared before magistrates on August 9, Sonia Croft, for the prosecution, told magistrates how Gifford hit his girlfriend Julie Fletcher “hard enough to make her cry” while under the influence of alcohol on June 22.
She also told the court how Gifford, of Goaman Road, stole £50 from Miss Fletcher’s home two days later when he broke a lock on a box attached to the TV, which collected coins to pay for its operation.
But David Rowe, for the defence, said the prosecution was “a reluctant one”.
“Miss Fletcher did not want the prosecution to go ahead,” he said.
“They were play fighting and Gifford accepts he perhaps was a little rougher than he should have been.”
He also said Gifford had paid back the money he stole.
The case was adjourned until Friday for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
Gifford was also due to be resentenced for a conviction of racially aggravated harassment which he picked up in January, as his latest offence means he has breached a conditional discharge.